On NameHero, we have a number of different plans for different types of hosting, ranging from ordinary shared hosting, to VPS and dedicated servers based in the cloud. What often isn’t clear is what exactly are the limitations on the first – shared hosting. Because of its very nature, shared hosting is complicated because of the presence of others who use the same resources that you do. As a result, it’s impossible to provide specific numbers of how much RAM or CPU time is available to any single account.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t limitations. It’s perhaps more important to know exactly what the limits of your shared hosting account are, compared to any other type of hosting. In this article, I’ll explain what they are, and what the different terms mean.
While users have unlimited storage for their websites, this comes with a few restrictions.
Hard Inode Limitations
The first hard limitation is something called “Inodes”. These are files or folders – they’re actually data-structures representing file system objects. Shared hosting accounts always limit inodes – though the ceiling is pretty high.
For example, NameHero has the following inode restrictions:
- Starter Hosting – 250,000
- Plus Hosting – 250,000
- Turbo Hosting – 500,000
- Business Hosting – 500,000
This is a limitation dealing with the number of files, not the size of the files themselves.
Policy Limitations Against Storage
Web hosts want to ensure that you use their shared hosting plans to store data directly related to your website. It’s not meant to be an off-site storage space for backups. NameHero for example, allows you to keep a cPanel backup on your storage space, but nothing else.
This means that all uses of storage for file sharing, torrenting, and backups of other websites are not allowed. This is how NameHero ensures that its resources are not being abused.
Since every account has to share precious CPU cycles with others, there are some hard limitations as well as policy limitations.
Hard CPU Limitations
NameHero recognizes that CPU usage isn’t constant. There may be short bursts of activity that require extensive processing on your site – and that’s fine as long as it doesn’t last too long. To this end, an account can only use 25% of the CPU for less than 90 seconds at a time.
This ensure that websites can take care of unplanned activity, but at the same time, not be unfair to other accounts on the server.
In addition to the CPU usage limit above, there are certain limits with regard to CPU consuming activities that are not allowed. For example, SQL queries are extremely CPU intensive, often using up the entire amount available until the query is completed. NameHero doesn’t allow any MySQL query to run for longer than 15 seconds. We also don’t allow programs that run as spiders or web crawlers.
Another activity of interest is running the server for purposes beyond that of web hosting. For example, you can’t create a gaming server such as Minecraft or COD, since these will place unacceptable loads not just on the CPU, but on bandwidth as well.
Here’s a full list of limitations regarding CPU usage in NameHero’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
These Restrictions Don’t Apply to VPS Servers
It goes without saying that the above restrictions only apply to shared web hosting. They’re put in place to create a fair environment where all accounts can work together. On a VPS server, you own the resources 100%, and you can do with them as you please, since it doesn’t impact anyone else!
NameHero is very open about what’s allowed on its shared hosting plans, and what’s not. Many other web hosts don’t make the terms explicit, and this creates problems when your account is banned for unknowable reasons!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!